Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill (3rd left), is joined by Director of Tourism, Mr. Paul Pennicooke (2ndleft) and Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board, Mr. Dennis Morrison (3rd right), at one of Moon Palace’s Spa Pools during a tour of the resort in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on June 18. The rehabilitated hotel is slated for a soft opening in July. Others (from left) are: Vice President, Investments and Promotions at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Claude Duncan; Vice President of Playa Resorts Management, the Parent company of Moon Palace, Gibran Chapur (centre); General Manager of the hotel, Clifton Reader and a representative of contractors.
Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, has expressed satisfaction with the progress of work to rehabilitate the 705-room Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
He told JIS News that the property has come a far way since his visit in November of last year, and that the Management has actually set a date in July for a soft opening.
Dr. McNeill and representatives of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) toured the hotel site on June 18.
“The rooms are beautiful; the common areas and the restaurants are really coming together. I think it’s going to be a fine project,” the Minister said.
He pointed out that with Moon Palace coming on stream with 705 rooms, the tourism sector is in good shape heading into the winter season.
Dr. McNeill said that the influx of tourism-related investments now taking place in Jamaica would lift the island’s tourism product and strengthen brand Jamaica.
“I am confident that the new brand, Moon Palace, will be another notch in the belt for Jamaica and something else that will be good for brand Jamaica and strengthen our position in the international arena,” the Minister said.
In the meantime, Dr. McNeill said while Ocho Rios is recognized worldwide for its cruise shipping and attractions, particularly Dunn’s River, the destination has come a far way in broadening the tourism offerings and the addition of Moon Palace will bring a new dimension to the St. Ann capital.
“We are working on Ocho Rios in a holistic manner. Ocho Rios as a destination has a characteristic of being both a stop over as well as a cruise destination. One of the strong advantages of Ocho Rios is the fact that it has very strong attractions. Dunn’s River could arguably be said to be the marquee attraction in Jamaica. When you add the other attractions…what we are going to find, it’s almost a match made in heaven. We have one of the finest destinations,” Dr. McNeill said.
Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa, the former Sunset Jamaica Grande, was taken over by the Mexico-based Moon Palace Resort in September 1, 2014, for an estimated US$200 million.
Published Date: June 19th, 2015
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